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Rd 24 Preview: South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Canterbury Bulldogs

Date: Friday August 21, 2015

Venue: ANZ Stadium

Kick-Off: 7:45pm AEST

Rabbitohs: 1. Greg Inglis 2. Alex Johnston 3. Dylan Walker 4. Kirisome Auva’a 5. Bryson Goodwin 6. John Sutton 7. Adam Reynolds 8. George Burgess 9. Paul Carter 10. David Tyrrell 11. Kyle Turner 12. Jason Clark 13. Chris McQueen INT: 14. Chris Grevsmuhl 15. Glenn Stewart 16. Tim Grant 17. Thomas Burgess 18. Nathan Brown 19. Joel Reddy 20. Cody Walker

Bulldogs: 1. Brett Morris 2. Curtis Rona 3. Josh Morris 4. Timoteo Lafai 5. Sam Perrett 6. Moses Mbye 7. Trent Hodkinson 8. Sam Kasiano 9. Damien Cook 10. James Graham 11. Josh Jackson 12. Frank Pritchard 13. Greg Eastwood INT: 14. Lloyd Perrett 15. Shaun Lane 16. David Klemmer 17. Tim Browne 19. Danny Fualalo

Preview

Fireworks are expected at ANZ Stadium on Friday night when South Sydney Rabbitohs “host” Canterbury Bulldogs in round 24 of the National Rugby League premiership.

When these two sides met on Good Friday earlier this year it was a controversial ending with James Graham diving at the legs of Adam Reynolds, then providing a spray at the officials which cost the English International four matches on the sideline and ultimately the game 18-17.  David Klemmer and Sam Kasiano also were banned out of the match.  There is also expected to be a greater police presence after some members of the public were involved in anti-social behaviour.

There will be no greater motivation for the Bulldogs to win over their arch rivals as a victory will all but assure the club of making the 2015 finals series.  Last week they trounced bottom placed Gold Coast Titans but in the process lost their hooker Michael Lichaa to a season ending foot injury.  This gives back up hooker Damien Cook a chance to establish himself in the nine jumper for the remainder of the season.  They will be big shoes to fill for the twenty-four year old who only has four matches under his belt.  Other than Lichaa’s forced change, Des Hasler has named the same seventeen as last week.

South Sydney have their own problems in the hooking role.  In a costly win at 1300 Smiles Stadium in Townsville last weekend, Isaac Luke took a guilty plea for a dangerous throw on Lachlan Coote just after the half time break. He’s contesting a shoulder charge at judiciary on Wednesday.  What’s interesting is that Michael Maguire have thrown in ex-Titans bad boy Paul Carter who will pull on the Rabbitohs jumper for the second time.  Carter, son of former Panther Paul is just like his father, a determined and fierce competitor.

Luke’s absence is not the only headache for Michael Maguire with Luke Keary suspended out of the same game. In this instance the Rabbitohs are covered with John Sutton filling Keary’s position at five-eighth, Jason Clark slotting into the second row.

This is a must watch game.  A mouthwatering battle up front headlined by Graham vs George Burgess in an all-British clash.  Chris McQueen and Greg Eastwood dueling at lock will be another closely watched forward match-up.  Origin players Greg Inglis and Brett Morris face off at fullback, with Alex Johnson looking to catch leading try scorer Curtis Rona as the preliminary part of the season ends.

Prediction Expect the Bulldogs to avenge the Good Friday loss against a Rabbitohs side without Isaac Luke and Luke Keary. Bulldogs by 8.

 

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